- Associated Press - Friday, May 5, 2017

BASKETBALL

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - Basketball enthusiasts around the world said a decision to allow players to wear religious headgear in competition will encourage more people to play the sport because it gives participants the right to practice their faith and focus on playing ball.

The unanimous vote by international basketball’s governing body, known as FIBA, allows female players to wear hijabs and male players to wear turbans and yarmulkes following a ban initially imposed for safety reasons 20 years ago. In 2014, FIBA allowed a two-year testing phase for head coverings.

The rule, which goes into effect Oct. 1, requires headgear to be black, white or the same dominant color as the uniform for all players. It cannot cover any part of the face, have no opening or closing elements around the face and/or neck, and have no parts that extrude from its surface.

The effort to push the governing body to change its regulations dates back several years. Other sports, including soccer, had already relaxed such regulations.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker will miss the rest of the playoffs after rupturing the quadriceps tendon in his left leg in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Houston Rockets.

Parker will need season-ending surgery, meaning the Spurs will have to go through the rest of the postseason without their veteran floor leader. He was injured with 8:34 to play in Wednesday night’s game and the Spurs went on to win and tie the series at one game apiece.

While the 34-year-old Parker is not the dynamic playmaker he was in his younger days, he has still been hugely important to what the team does. After the Spurs were blown out in Game 1, Parker responded with 18 points in 25 minutes before getting injured.

PRO FOOTBALL

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers say running back Doug Martin suffered “minor cuts and bruises” when he was involved in a car accident near the team’s training facility.

General manager Jason Licht said in a statement that the two-time Pro Bowl selection who was the NFL’s second-leading rusher two years ago was evaluated by team medical staff before heading home.

Martin, who’s participating in the team’s offseason conditioning program, rushed for 1,402 yards in 2015. He had 421 yards and three touchdowns a year ago, when he missed eight games because of injuries and a suspension that will extend into next season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancers.

HOCKEY

PITTSBURGH (AP) - A woman says she was sexually assaulted in a bathroom during a Pittsburgh Penguins playoff hockey game.

Police spokeswoman Sonya Toler says the woman walked into a police station near the PPG Paints Arena at 12:01 a.m. Thursday to make the report.

Toler says police are investigating and no more details are available. No one has been charged.

The Penguins say they’ve been informed of the matter and are cooperating with investigators.

AARON HERNANDEZ

BOSTON (AP) - Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez wrote a reference to a biblical passage in ink on his forehead and in blood on the wall of his prison cell before he hanged himself with a bed sheet, state police said in an investigative report.

The former New England Patriots tight end was found naked April 19 at the Souza-Baranowski prison, where he was serving a life sentence in the 2013 murder of a man who had been dating his fiancee’s sister. His suicide came five days after he was acquitted in the 2012 gun slayings of two men in a car.

A report released by state police says “John 3:16” was written on Hernandez’s forehead and on the cell wall.

The Bible passage says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

The report, from a state police detective assigned to Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.’s office, said a correction officer found Hernandez around 3 a.m.

COLLEGE SPORTS

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A jury awarded more than $1.4 million to a former University of Iowa athletic administrator, ruling that the university had discriminated against her because of her gender and sexual orientation.

Jane Meyer alleged she suffered workplace discrimination as a gay woman in a relationship with the school’s longtime and highly successful field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, that the school retaliated against her for complaining about Griesbaum’s firing, and that she was paid less than a male counterpart for similar work.

Judge Michael D. Huppert said the eight-person jury found in favor of Meyer on all five counts.

The trial lasted nearly three weeks and featured testimony from Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz and wrestling coach Tom Brands.

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